BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Over 5,000 children are subjected to abuse and/or neglect each year in the state of Arkansas. Instead of playing with friends and making happy family memories, these children are attending court hearings, adjusting to new foster homes, and transitioning to new schools.
That’s a heavy burden for a child to carry.
Foster care is intended to keep children safe: remove them from imminent danger and nurture them while the state decides if and when it’s safe for the children to return home. This system is well intended but sadly ill-prepared to address the needs (medical, psychological, educational, emotional) of the individual children it serves. Juggling an average of 25 foster care cases at a time, Department of Human Services workers could not possibly be the
extensive support system these children need.
CASA volunteers are trained and supported to fight for the best interests of children in foster care.
They closely monitor their children’s cases and work to ensure a child’s permanent home
will be one of hope, stability, and love.
Research shows it only takes one caring adult to change the course of a young person’s life. Through one-on-one guidance, support, and advocacy, CASA volunteers ensure the children on their case have access to health, education, and permanency planning services that will improve their quality of life, break the cycle of abuse and neglect, provide strong adult relationships, and prepare them for brighter futures than their pasts would predict.
Passion and time. Details aside, those are the top two requirements for becoming a CASA volunteer.
Contrary to what people may think, there is not a single, perfect profile for what makes a good CASA volunteer. You can be employed full-time, a stay-at-home parent, or retired. You can have years of experience with the legal system and child welfare or none at all. You just need to be a committed individual willing to stand up for the best interests of a child in foster care. We’ll teach you the rest and provide guidance and support.
No less than 21 years of age
No felony convictions
Must agree to the anti-discrimination policy outlined below*
Maintain confidentiality of all client and court information
Ability to communicate effectively in English, both orally and in writing (being bilingual is a plus!)
Ability to respect and relate to people from various backgrounds
Be available to dedicate 2-3 hours per week to CASA work
Commit to the length of a case (average 15-18 months)